ONE YEAR LATER
Although my first surgery for breast cancer was one year ago, and I have a six month hiatus from treatment, I am still “living with breast cancer”. Since treatment, I struggled with accepting that chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation had hurt my immune system and my body physically. They had, after all, left me with leg aches, neuropathy of my hands and arms, and lymphedema. BUT it didn’t hurt my spirit! I believe the tumor that grew overnight to the size of an orange was God trying to talk to me, slow me down to listen. I believe this happened so I could become intimate with my creator.
Now, I had always considered myself as very healthy. I was a triathlete, I was a runner, I am a weight management coach, I began Murph’s Magic running group, BUT I couldn’t out swim, out bike or out run cancer. It was hard to except that in order to treat “it”, my body had to take such a beating of toxic drugs. Once I stopped blaming treatment for my new self, I was able to realize that is was a new improved self, not a weakened and vulnerable one.
Yes, I have side effects from treatment, but I have to remind myself that one of those side effects is remission. I am now living with a history of breast cancer hanging over me. But I also have reassessed what I value. God taught me 4 key avenues that helped move me through my cancer diagnosis and treatments.
Vulnerable – Vision – Value - Visibility
God’s divine intervention has been incredible. I met so many NEW friends at Market America’s Women of faith, and the Dragon Rays of the Pioneer Valley Rowing Club Their support has been as important to restoring my mental health as to regaining my physical health. I actually think I am fortunate. I was fortunate to have a strong support group at the time of my diagnosis and now I try to offer that same support to other women who are going through that terrifying time of diagnosis and treatment. I have been given many new opportunities and have put onto paper “my” 10 Step Guide To Nourish Yourself Through Cancer so I can support others.
I can finally say “I had breast cancer, breast cancer didn’t have me!”
To OUR Health